Two Drone Protestors Bring Stories of Afghanistan to Syracuse

Oct 14, 2013

A MQ9 Reaper - the type of drone flown out of Hancock Air Base
A MQ9 Reaper - the type of drone flown out of Hancock Air Base

Two peace advocates who’ve made several trips to Afghanistan are in Syracuse to share their observations…and join protests against the use of military drones.  Kathy Kelly traveled with the group “Voices of Creative Nonviolence" and saw people struggling economically after four decades of war.
 

It’s very, very hard for people to even imagine being able to pull together a company that might be able to function without reliance on terrible corruption and the war has contributed to the corruption because certainly when people are desperate they are more likely to tolerate or engage in corrupt practices," says Kelly.
 

She says the U-S backed government of Hamid Karzai was rated one of the three most corrupt in the world.  Another “Voices” member Buddy Bell sees a way the U-S could help instead of fomenting problems.  He’d like to see a portion of military and drone spending instead rebuild hospitals, schools and irrigation systems.  

This would enable Afghans to have a future, to have a profession, have opportunity for training, have opportunity to be able to feed their families without joining a militant group: being a lookout, being someone who digs a hole for a roadside bomb," explains Bell.
 

Bell and Kelly will share thoughts on reconstruction of Afghanistan Monday night at Saint Lucy’s Church starting at 7:00.  Saint Lucy’s is located at 432 Gifford Street Syracuse, NY.

On Tuesday, there will be a protest outside of Hancock Air Base.  They will also be speaking at the ArtRage Gallery that same night 7:00 pm in an event called “Seeing Through the Smokescreen: War and Peace in Afghanistan”. The gallery is located at 505 Hawley Avenue Syracuse, NY.
 

A blog with photos and videos of the Afghani people called  Our Journey to Smile has stories of how Afghanis daily lives affected by drones.